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Abram said to Lot, “Let there be no quarreling between me and you, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are close relatives.[a] Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself now from me. If you go[b] to the left, then I’ll go to the right, but if you go to the right, then I’ll go to the left.”

10 Lot looked up and saw[c] the whole region[d] of the Jordan. He noticed[e] that all of it was well watered (this was before the Lord obliterated[f] Sodom and Gomorrah)[g] like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt,[h] all the way to Zoar.

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  1. Genesis 13:8 tn Heb “men, brothers [are] we.” Here “brothers” describes the closeness of the relationship, but could be misunderstood if taken literally, since Abram was Lot’s uncle.
  2. Genesis 13:9 tn The words “you go” have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons both times in this verse.
  3. Genesis 13:10 tn Heb “lifted up his eyes and saw.” The expression draws attention to the act of looking, indicating that Lot took a good look. It also calls attention to the importance of what was seen.
  4. Genesis 13:10 tn Or “plain”; Heb “circle.”
  5. Genesis 13:10 tn The words “he noticed” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  6. Genesis 13:10 sn Obliterated. The use of the term “destroy” (שַׁחֵת, shakhet) is reminiscent of the Noahic flood (Gen 6:13). Both at the flood and in Sodom the place was obliterated by catastrophe and only one family survived (see C. Westermann, Genesis, 2:178).
  7. Genesis 13:10 tn This short temporal clause (preposition + Piel infinitive construct + subjective genitive + direct object) is strategically placed in the middle of the lavish descriptions to sound an ominous note. The entire clause is parenthetical in nature. Most English translations place the clause at the end of v. 10 for stylistic reasons.
  8. Genesis 13:10 sn The narrative places emphasis on what Lot saw so that the reader can appreciate how it aroused his desire for the best land. It makes allusion to the garden of the Lord and to the land of Egypt for comparison. Just as the tree in the garden of Eden had awakened Eve’s desire, so the fertile valley attracted Lot. And just as certain memories of Egypt would cause the Israelites to want to turn back and abandon the trek to the promised land, so Lot headed for the good life.

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